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A picturebook a week: Mr Miniscule and the Whale

Posted on Apr 23, 2014

minisculeJulian Tuwim (text) & Bohdan Butenko (illustrations)
Pan Maluśkiewicz i Wieloryb,  translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
(Book Island)

Translated children’s literature is still, sadly, a rather rare occurrence in this country, and though Library Mice tends to focus on children’s literature translated from the French, for obvious reasons, it is always with great joy that we discover books from other countries too. This delightful story of a tiny explorer whose big ambition is to seek out one the planet’s most gigantic animal is beautifully illustrated, with a clever use of white space on the page and particularly attractive sparse but effective use of yellow in the illustrations. This is definitely a book that will attract the eye of fans of retro, and rightly so. However, the text is also particularly impressive. Tuwim was a Polish poet, an institution in his country (known mainly for adult poetry), and poetry has to be the hardest type of literary text to translate. Yet, the translated text here retains an effective structure and natural-sounding rhyming pattern. The text is lively and witty, and will be a treat for wannabe explorers. With an aura of old-fashioned adventures, this really is a charming picturebook.

 Source: review copy from publisher

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2 Comments

  1. I love the accompanying video! this looks great.

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